Oil fell by more than $1 to below $74 a barrel on Friday after the outlook for energy demand was dented by China's surprise decision to tighten its monetary policy.
China's central bank said it was raising reserve requirements from the end of this month in a bid to cool a rapidly growing economy, reports Reuters.
The International Energy Agency said on Thursday that oil demand had peaked in developed countries, but it still predicts world oil consumption to rise by 1.6 million barrels this year to 86.5 million barrels due to emerging market growth.
US crude for March delivery fell by $1.30 to $73.96 a barrel by 1054 GMT, after settling 76¢ higher at $75.28 a barrel on Thursday, reports Reuters.
London Brent crude for the new front month of April fell $1.20 to $72.92.